On Thursday, I experienced, not one, but two firsts.  Both involved Fred.  As you may recall, Fred started the year as my most difficult sprout.  Well as luck would have it… actually, it has very little to do with luck… as LOVE would have it, it turns out the loving, trusting, warm environment Mrs. D. and I create in our classroom has started working.

First number one. Fred read his first book.  Granted, it was one of those simple three words per page paper sight word books (I see books, I see crayons, I see blocks, etc.), but he read the entire book all by himself.  His face lit up like he’d just seen his first fireworks.  When he finished and sat smiling at me with his giant blue eyes, I looked at him, and with every ounce of sincerity, said, “Fred, you just read your first book… I am SO glad you are in my class.”

This led to my second first.  Fred stood up and wrapped his arms around my neck and gave me one of the best hugs I’ve ever received… that’s saying something coming from a kindergarten teacher.

We’ve been taking it slow these first few weeks of school.  There is a feeling by many teachers that the academics can’t wait.  The pressure of looming assessments breathing down our necks often makes us rush into activities our sprouts aren’t ready for.  This year, I have made a conscious decision to take things slowly.  We’re only introducing our Writing Workshop next week.

That amazingly awesome hug from Fred told me we made the right decision. He’s feeling safe, trusting, and most importantly, loved.